Lessons for the Fourth Sunday of Easter

Acts of the Apostles 2: 42-47

Luke’s story of the days immediately following the resurrection soon concentrates on the common mission of the apostles as they become confident in witnessing the life and purpose of their master, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Luke emphasizes the acts of the community, both maintaining a communal life and breaking bread together, the action Jesus taught both in his meals about Galilee and in the basic liturgical act at the Last Supper, and this straightforward devotion, Luke says, caused many to join them – the initial growth of the church.

 

I Peter 2: 19-25

In this letter the responsibilities of members of the household are detailed.  This text is, in its full form, directed at slaves who were part of many established households, but the lectionary has dropped the focus on slaves to place the instruction on all new Christians.  The households to which the letter is addressed are the early house churches where the master of the house, the head of the family, is in charge of the community.  The instruction of I Peter thus points to how one should live in this early community under the authority and care of God.

 

John 10: 1-10

In this section of the Gospel Jesus is metaphorically teaching about the difference between Jesus and the Pharisees, the difference between being true to God and that of simply operating by the Law.  Jesus, the shepherd, has access to the sheepfold, to the hearts and minds of the people.  And the sheep know their shepherd and will leave the sheepfold only when he calls them.  To follow Jesus out of the gate is to be saved from being lost, to be open to the Kingdom of God.